As with all dogs, pugs exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms throughout pregnancy, such as appetite, sleep, and behavior changes, weight gain, enlarged nipples, and nesting behavior. The average pug gestation period is 63 days. The pregnancy is divided into three stages: early, middle and final. Each stage lasts approximately 20 days and includes obvious changes in your dog's behavior and physical appearance.
Pug pregnancy symptoms in the early stage
During the early stage of a pug's pregnancy you may notice changes in her behavior. Some dogs become more affectionate and desire more attention while others prefer to be left alone. Your dog requires more sleep as a result of hormonal changes. You may also notice a decrease in her appetite. A physical symptom is enlarged nipples, which are softer than normal.
Determining if your pug is pregnant
If you know the date your pug was bred, you can take her to your veterinarian around day 28 to 30 of her gestation period. Your vet will be able to palpate your dog's abdomen to determine if your pug is pregnant. If your pug is pregnant, your vet will be able to feel the puppies as little golf balls or grapes. You should not attempt to palpate your pug's abdomen without a veterinarian as you can cause damage to the puppies.
Your veterinarian can use an ultrasound to confirm a pug pregnancy between day 25 to 35 of a suspected pregnancy. With an ultrasound, your vet will be able to tell you how many puppies the mother is carrying as well.
Around day 25 to 30 of a suspected pregnancy, your vet can do a blood test to look for the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is only produced in the pug's body when she is pregnant.
Pug pregnancy symptoms in the middle stage
The signs and symptoms of pregnancy during the middle stage are not as numerous or obvious. The dog's appetite returns and is greatly increased. Her behavior returns to normal, and she has more energy than she did during the first few weeks of the pregnancy.
Some dogs have larger bellies during this stage and they feel firmer than usual. Not all dogs increase in size during the middle stage. A pug, however, is likely to have a larger abdomen due to her small size. Maintain contact with your veterinarian throughout the pregnancy. Due to the large size of a pug's head, your dog may require a cesarean section at the time of delivery.
Symptoms of pug pregnancy in the final stage
The signs and symptoms of pregnancy during the last few weeks are much more obvious. Your dog's appetite and energy level decrease once again. She will have to urinate more often due to the pressure on her bladder. Her nipples and abdomen are even larger now. The size of your dog's abdomen depends on the number of puppies she is carrying. The average size of a litter for a pug is three to four puppies.
You may notice some milk leakage from your dog's nipples. During the final stage of pregnancy, you will be able to feel the puppies move. You can feel this movement during the last couple weeks of pregnancy and more often after your dog has done some exercise, such as going for a walk.
False pregnancy in pugs
It's not uncommon for a dog to experience a false pregnancy following a heat cycle. During a false pregnancy, a female pug will experience the physical and behavioral symptoms of pregnancy even though she's not pregnant. A false pregnancy can occur whether or not the female pug was mated.
If your dog is experiencing mild symptoms of a false pregnancy, no treatment is needed. However, treatment is available for pugs who experience severe symptoms of false pregnancy. If you are not breeding your pug, it is recommended that you get her sterilized.